For season two the rules regarding the powertrains have been opened and eight new manufacturers have entered Formula E. While the overall car will remain the same and the batteries will still be standard issue, the electric motor can now be built by the teams. Citroen, Renault, NextEV, Andretti and others are now going compete on power.
Because each team is still using the same battery, don’t expect too much difference in pure one-lap pace. The key is efficiency. The biggest mechanical differences are likely to come from the gearbox with teams opting for a different number of gears. Although electric motors have instant torque, gears can still prove advantageous when it comes to maximising this power. Last year’s car had five forward gears. Mahindra has dropped to using four gears, as has Venturi. At the other end of the spectrum, you have NEXTEV TCR and DS Virgin, who have both decided to use a direct drive system, effectively one gear.
The new motors, invertors and gearboxes have created unique new sounds for the second generation Formula E. The sound is a familiar futuristic electric whir, but definitely has a different note from last year and east team has a distinct sound.
Listen to the difference here.
After a successful first season of Formula E, season 2 is due to start officially on October 17th, but are currently in the midst of a series of pre-season test events. These test days run from August 10th through August 25th, with the remainder of the new testing to be done on the simulators.